The second season premieres on January 9, 2022, on HBO Max.
The newly released trailer opens with Rue walking into a Narcotics Anonymous meeting accompanied by a piece of luggage that will surely make more than one cameo. Rue is struggling with her addictions to drugs and Jules (Hunter Schafer), Rue’s girlfriend in season one. From the pain written across Rue’s face during the meeting, we suspect their relationship will undergo turbulence and it will be a harrowing experience to see how Rue processes life post-overdose.
Zendaya made history in 2020 when she became the youngest person to accept an Emmy for a lead actress in a drama series. The actress poignantly brings to life the character’s inner turmoil with a realistic portrayal of a teenage addict who is struggling to cope with the loss of her father and the vulnerability of adolescence.
‘Euphoria’ is not known to tip-toe around controversial topics. Au contraire, the series ruminates on mental health, sexuality, domestic abuse, identity, and the painful consequences of substance abuse. The dark narrative has gained global acclaim and increasing anticipation for a new season that will be more distressing than the first. Think less glitter and more tears.
Who’s Back and Who’s New
Zendaya and Hunter Schafer will be joined by their fellow cast members from season one: Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, Cassie Howard, and Storm Reid. The original cast will be joined by newcomers Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jy., Dominic Fike, and Minka Kelly.
The trailer spoils the cliffhanger from the season one finale that left Rue with a possible overdose and Jules jumping aboard a train in an attempt to leave town. Obviously, Rue is alive but all is not well within her dynamic world. The trailer hints toward Rue taking up a new vocation as a drug dealer that conveniently sustains her addiction, while her relationship with Jules is uncertain.
The teens that inhabit Rue’s life will continue to play pivotal roles in the series with the status of their relationships making considerable shifts. In an interview with Stylecaster, Sydney Sweeney reveals that it’s impossible to predict what will happen to her character, Cassie. “I can tease that, when you ask about season 2, my heart drops. In a you-guys-have-no-idea-what-you’re-going-to-watch way. Cassie really needs to get her shit together. I can’t say anything else. Cassie has a crazy storyline in season 2 that I did not expect. Every time I read a new episode that Sam writes, my jaw is on the ground and I can’t believe this is something coming out of someone’s mind,” she explains.
From what we can tell from the trailer, Cassie finds a new love interest in Nate (Jacob Elordi), unfortunately, it’s the abusive ex-boyfriend of her best friend Maddie (Alexa Demie). The emotions of the show are exhaustingly-high and very tangible, it’s clear that each character has the capacity to feel everything so deeply while struggling to secure a sense of self amidst the chaos of adolescence.
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An Authentic View of Teenagers
“I just feel like there is such a disconnect between what young people are going through and what everyone else thinks they’re going through,” Sam Levinson revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. “We didn’t want to pull any punches. We didn’t want to make it feel like we were holding anything back or that we are hiding anything.” Levinson admitted the series drew inspiration from his formative years.
The trailer teases jaw-dropping scenes of tears, unlikely romantic entanglements (Cassie, be careful), the blaring sounds of police sirens and guns. Surely there will be a lot to unpack in the new season and we can’t wait for our favorite disillusioned teenagers to return to our screens. The toxicity of their lives reveal the collective anxiety of trying to grasp who you are and the insecurities that follow.
Zendaya warns viewers that the new season of ‘Euphoria’ will be painful. In an interview with Teen Vogue, “And it’s very personal to, not only ourselves and all the people who work on it, but also, to other people who have been able to relate so deeply to the characters or see their experiences being reflected through Rue,” the actress admits.
“And it’s definitely challenging, it’s a challenging season. It’s gonna be hard and it’s gonna be devastating sometimes, but I think Rue really deserves all of that care when it comes to her character, because I think she represents a lot for so many people… I think this season’s not going to be easy, though. It’s not going to be a fun watch, I don’t think. Sometimes.” Harking back to Levinson’s claim that ‘Euphoria’ serves a vital reminder that there is often a misrepresentation of youthful trauma and pain.
Why You Should Watch ‘Euphoria’
Rue’s sensitivity is beautifully depicted as a young teenager frustratingly dependent on substances to temporarily soothe the pain that she’s harbored her entire life. It’s a more realistic representation of how teenagers are often ill-equipped to manage mental health and intense emotions. Rue’s habit of self-sabotage strains her relationship with her family and with herself. We will see an altered version of Rue as she continues to cope with her addictions and her personal mayhem. It will be upsetting and ruthlessly disturbing to watch Rue’s pain continue to unfold throughout season two.
Sam Levinson’s writing demystifies the taboo of addiction, mental health, and sexuality by producing a show that encourages viewers to engage in conversations that were previously neglected. “It’s not a show to emulate. The show’s intention, for all of us who make it, is to open up the door to empathy for another person’s experience. Rue has helped me do that, tremendously,” Zendaya shared with Interview Magazine. “The core of Euphoria is these very raw and honest emotions, and these conversations that I hope help us gain empathy.” And the show does just that, it creates a space for viewers to see minor bits of themselves in characters who are at the cusp of independence and on the path to self-discovery.
Cast: Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie
Creator: Sam Levinson
By Gina Michele Yaniz
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Gina Michele Yaniz is a writer and digital media content creator with a deep love for storytelling. Charmed by the notable influence of the entertainment industry, Gina is passionate about uplifting the voices of artists and celebrating powerful material. She likes to embody the philosophy of writing through a non-judgmental and a genuine perspective while expanding the perception of film industry. Along with Hollywood Insider, Gina values the responsibility the media holds and wishes to use her writing to provide meaningful content. During her free time, Gina loves to watch period pieces, stand-up comedy, and indulges on her avid interest for reading articles on self-care.